Officials of the Fire and Rescue Services Department paid tributes to martyrs who lost their lives during rescue operation.

Tributes were paid to 26 martyrs who lost their lives in the line of duty from 1955 to 2011 during the Fire Service Week celebrations organised by the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, Western Region unit, on Thursday.

Deputy Director of Fire and Rescue Services R.G. Jeyakanthan, Divisional Fire Officer I.J.L. Nathan, Additional Divisional Fire Officer P. Krishnamurthy, Station Fire Officers for Coimbatore South, G. Annadurai, P. Perumal, Coimbatore North, K. Murugan, K. Ramu and Peelamedu, S. Arumugam, R. Ramu placed the wreath. The names of the martyrs were read out and a two minute silence was observed by officers and firemen.

It was on April 14, 1944 in the Victoria Dock of Bombay when the SS Fort Stikine, a cargo vessel carrying cotton bales, gold, oil barrels, 1,400 tonnes of explosives were destroyed in a devastating fire.

In the accident, 740 people, including 66 firemen who were fighting to douse off the fire died.

Hence, Fire Service Week is observed every year from April 14 – 21 in memory of firemen who died in the Bombay Dock Explosion.